Deville Cohen

I often start with a problem,
Or with something personal,
Or from a personal problem.

In my kinetic videos, installations, and theater works, I use sculptural and performative techniques to create works that reflect on the immediate relationships we have to everyday objects, images, and environments. Movements transform the sets and props so that the performers serve as human operators of a performative-kinetic-sculptures. Those arrangements of objects, Xerox-representations, and bodies are subverting the spatial syntaxes of both theatrical and sculptural spaces and the hierarchies they embody. The somewhat complex narrative structures of my work are carefully balanced by the intentional rickety of the sets, the makeshift of their assembly, and the fragility of their materials. Overwhelmingly frail, the links between the performer’s effort and their consequences position them in series of dead-ends Sisyphean scenarios. Often the result of these playful negotiations are dire, comical, tragic or absurd, but they are also asking us to re-examine power dynamics and structures of domination, alienation, belonging, and control. My work is both a meditation on our attempts to understand our immediate reality; and it is an aspiration for a temporary relief from the poorly designed systems of representation, identification, social order, and common sense in our everyday life.

Deville Cohen (b. 1977 Tel Aviv), is a visual artist and a director living and working in New York. He studied sculpture at the KHB Berlin (Germany) from 2002-2007, and received his MFA in film/video from Bard College, NY in 2010. His work was shown internationally in museums, venues, and galleries such as MoMA PS1; SFMoMA; The Deutsche Oper Berlin; The Center for Contemporary Art Tel Aviv; Disjecta, Portland OR; The Living Art Museum, Reykjavik; Abrons Art Center NYC; The Munich Biennale for New Music Theater; The Marjorie Barrick Museum, Las Vegas;  Movement Research Festival, NYC; AUX Performance Space, Philadelphia, PA; Aspect Ratio Gallery, Chicago; Marlborough Chelsea Gallery, NYC; and Foxy Production gallery, NYC among others.
He was an artist in residence at Recess Art; EMPAC (Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center) Troy; The Wooster Group Performance Garage; Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) workspace, Fountainhead Miami; MANA contemporary; and LMCC Process Space.